This past winter, a landslide near mile marker 155 closed the towpath just beyond the Paw Paw Tunnel. All hikers wanting to go beyond this point were re-routed over the Tunnel Hill Trail. Recently, however, the NPS made the proper reparations, and seeing the trail cleared was a wonderful site. As the weather grows warmer, more through hikers and bikers will be hitting the trail, and the prospects for pushing a fully-loaded hybrid over Tunnel Hill would have been pretty difficult.
Looking up from this angle, one can see where the loose rubble slid down the hill. A section of secured fencing has been put up in order to keep passers-by safe from any further slides–should they occur. The area around the Paw Paw Tunnel is among the most popular in the western end of the C&O Canal, and we were very pleased to be able to continue with our hike.
Although the C&O Canal closed to boat traffic after a severe flood in 1924, many lockhouses were occupied for several more years. Such is the case with Lockhouse 62, but the story has a tragic ending. According to Thomas K. Hahn’s Towpath Guide to the C&O Canal, former “lock tender Joe Davis and his wife were murdered here by shooting in 1934″ (194). While hiking over Tunnel Hill Trail, we met a retired railroad worker who told us that a known “bad man” was in the area at the time, and he disappeared right after the murders. The case was never solved.